Hinduja's proposal to tackle challenges generates interest

PTI Posted online: Saturday, Apr 12, 2014 at 0000 hrs
United Nations : A proposal conceptualised by Hinduja Group Chairman S P Hinduja for a public-private partnership for stock-taking government efforts to tackle challenges of terrorism, climate change and poverty has generated huge interest among global leaders.

Hinduja Foundation US Chairperson Shanu S P Hinduja said at a high-level meeting here yesterday that she has been approached by number of heads of state and leaders with "positive feedback" for 'Global Challenges Day', which is the brainchild of her father.

Hinduja said given the huge interest in the concept, the time is right to invite and host a roundtable discussion with the UN Secretary-General, heads of state and global leaders to "develop a concept which will be led by the Global Challenges Day to support the post-2015 Global Development Agenda.

"This is a major effort that we are ready to take by 2015 (or) early 2016," Hinduja said while addressing a high-level panel on 'Services and Applications For Disadvantaged People and Communities'.

Hinduja had shared the concept of the 'Global Challenges Day' during the UN General Assembly session last year while participating in the high-level meeting on 'Disability- inclusive Development Agenda towards 2015 and beyond.'

The concept, harboured by the Hinduja chief for almost a decade, aims to build a unique public-private partnership in association with the UN that will take stock of global efforts to combat and provide solutions to the three major challenges of terrorism, climate change and poverty.

Hinduja said there is need for transparency and a clear communication platform with a view to manage expectations and policies in a focussed way.

"Governments, private sector and NGOs all need to ensure that the way regulations affect the realisation of technological opportunities is constructive and growth- oriented. We need to ensure that barriers between public and private efforts are lifted, so as to fulfill the goals of the UN," she said.

On how nations can overcome the digital divide, she said the concept of kiosks endowed with technology to faciliate transfer of knowledge to the rural areas deserves strong attention. "It could be an excellent and pragmatic bottom-up approach to help overcome the digital divide," she added.

Hinduja also highlighted the rural health programme at the group's PD Hinduja Hospital in Mumbai that uses information and communications technology to deliver essential service to patients in villages.

She said the programme consists of advanced mobile health units, which are equipped with diagnostic and curative facilities and use IT connectivity to deliver services from the Hinduja hospital with telemedicine consultation, electronic health record creation and real time diagnostic reportsí viewing by radiologists and specialists.

The programme covers more than 20 villages and a population of more than 50,000, and Hinduja said improvements in healthcare have helped contribute significantly to a better quality of life in rural India.